Fall is in the air. I can tell because I want to make a big change. I want to take a long nap. I want to go for a long walk and listen to 90’s music. I can tell because suddenly I want to put all of the fall in my face. I want to read and watch horror. I want to listen to horror.
This week I am playing catchup with podcasts after finished Anne of Windy Poplars on audio. I’m continuing on with my On Being project and I am down to 33! I feel like that is impressive but when I look back I realize that actually I only made a small dent this week. Only four! Well five because a new one hit the feed this week. Still, a little bit goes a long ways eventually, right?
I thought that I would be able to make a bigger dent in it this week after I caught up. I didn’t realize how far behind I was on the stuff that I HAD been caught up on. It feels kind of like a mess. But when things get like this I just remind myself that I will get there eventually, that slow and steady wins the race.
Am I taking a lot from On Being? As I said before, it’s hit or miss. This morning I listened to an episode titles “On Whiteness” and it was interesting but it also pretty much confirmed a lot of stuff that I already know and believe. I live in the middle of nowhere. I went to school with two black kids, one who left in sixth grade and one who came in eleventh grade. There are a lot of racists around me, people who wave the confederate flag even though their families have lived on the same NORTHERN land since 1850 but they still somehow have “Southern pride.” It is normal for me to hear something like, “I’m not one of those people but I think they should just go back home/to Africa.” It’s an embarrassment.
I didn’t think a lot about race when I was growing up. When I was in sixth grade I told my teacher that I thought I might be racist because I felt funny when I went to the mall in the city. Now that I am older, I realize that what I was experiencing was not racism, it was simply how you feel when you go somewhere different, somewhere with a lot of strangers and new experiences. I mean, I feel that way when I use a new bathroom.
Maybe I was primed to think about things differently than people I know. Because I started calling myself a witch when I was 12. Because I started calling myself a feminist when I was 14. Because I had a surprisingly large number of gay/lesbian friends in high school. When I went to college, I had to take a class called Gender, Race, and Sexuality that was about discrimination and the legal system and all of that. I had never thought of institutional/systematic racism until then but it made complete sense to me because wasn’t that what feminism was talking about too?
I recognize that my race makes it easy for me to say that I am sick of the whole fight. I am privileged to ignore it when I need to. And, actually, it was kind of nice listening to this episode because it confirmed the things that I remember learning about all of those years ago. So, no, I’m not crazy.